Karwar: The 120 day nightmare in the custody of Iranian authorities is something fisherman Khalil Panibudo will never forget!
Khalil is one among the 18 fishermen from Uttara Kannada district who was in Iranian captivity. Six of them – Yakub, Ajmal, Inayat, Ilyas, Kasim and Khalil – came home on vacation on Wednesday night. Following their return, all their family members are in a celebratory mood.
Khalil is from Heble village in Uttara Kannada. He ventured into fishing in Bhatkal and later shifted to Dubai two years ago with the same job. “We left Dubai on Aug. 24, 2018 for fishing. The next day, our boat was stopped by Iranian authorities and we were all taken captive,” Khalil told Deccan Chronicle. The authorities took them into custody as they had allegedly entered Iranian waters.
“For the first 50 days we were in prison and for another 50 days we were in our boat at Kish and our movement was restricted. After this, again for 20 days before our release, we were in prison," he said. The court released all the fishermen after the boat owner agreed to pay the money.
"We have been released but our boat is still at Kish. Our fishing holiday of two months was to start from next month end. But as the boat has not yet been released, we got a holiday early. I will stay here for three months and return to my job at Dubai," Khalil added.
Family members of the fishermen thanked the authorities at the embassy, NRI Forum and all those who toiled for their release....